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Stories of Boat Related Mishaps and Experiences | Soundings Online Column

Farewell to a friend and other Annapolis tidbits

David 'Budweiser Dave' SellsThe infinitely small boating-related corner of my inconsequential nautical world in Annapolis survived several hits in 2012. But what little activity remains of my social life was greatly diminished by the death in September of a colorful Eastportian character nicknamed “Budweiser Dave,” who was only 59.

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Diver down! Erewhon gets a good scrub

'Pat the Diver' prepares to take the plunge.I stable my classic Sailmaster 22 off Spa Creek in a dead-end cove in Annapolis, where any tidal flushing is practically non-existent. Keeping the waterline clean has long been an unpleasant chore that forced me into the water fully clothed and wearing protective gloves to scrub away. I never did this when I had a skin abrasion for fear of an infection, and sinking ankle-deep into muckety yuck had sucked off an old pair of white tennies and turned me to wearing sea boots.

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When Bay winds vanish, it’s time for gunkholing

When Bay winds vanish, it’s time for gunkholingPreparing to face some hot, light-air cruising during the dog days of August required some adjustments to my regular Chesapeake Bay sailing routine of seeking out and following the wind. This meant accepting the cruel fate of motoring more than absolutely necessary and making it boring, rather than interesting and challenging.

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I swear I won’t neglect my new mainsail

Bill Birmingham, of UK/Scott Allan Sailmakers, helped get the Bay Tripper back on the water.I had a traumatic experience in early June when a large panel of my UV-degraded reefed mainsail split from leech to luff while homeward-bound. The sail had to come off for a quickie temporary repair that I learned would cost some $300, a replacement panel for about $600 or a new sail for $1,000-plus. I visited a few sail lofts, even Bacon’s Used Sails, in desperation for almost anything that would fit and not interrupt my summer pleasures on the water.

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Favorable winds and four days of cruising

The Bay Tripper had plenty of wind for his first cruise of the season.My first cruise of the season was like many others before it in one respect, the destination, but totally different in another because there was wind — and plenty of it. I set off May 25 from Annapolis under sail, bound for Oxford once again.

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Jack Sherwood, Writer-at-Large

Jack has been cruising Chesapeake Bay and writing about the region for more than 25 years. His critically acclaimed book, "Maryland's Vanishing Lives," was published by Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its second printing. Before joining Soundings, Jack was a feature writer at the Washington (D.C.) Star for nearly 20 years and a senior editor at Chesapeake Bay magazine from 1995 to 1998. His monthly Bay Tripper column focuses on the Chesapeake.


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